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Page last updated at 20:27 GMT, Thursday, 9 April 2009 21:27 UK

QPR axe Sousa after just 26 games

Paulo Sousa
Sousa leaves QPR nine points adrift of the play-offs

Queens Park Rangers have sacked Portuguese manager Paulo Sousa after just 26 games in charge, claiming he divulged sensitive information.

In a club statement, QPR said they took legal advice before acting to "protect their position".

Sousa, 38, took charge in November, but won only seven games as his side idled to 10th in the Championship table.

QPR chairman and co-owner Flavio Briatore has now had four managers and two caretakers in a year-and-a-half.

Sousa's departure comes after coach Bruno Oliveira had his contract at Loftus Road terminated on Monday.

Player coach Gareth Ainsworth will take charge of the side for the rest of the season, starting with a visit to Burnley on Saturday.


Sousa revealed at the weekend that top-scorer Dexter Blackstock's loan move to Nottingham Forest had been agreed without his knowledge.

"It is a decision for the board and only they can answer it. I'm not frustrated, I said from the first day I have to adapt and try to do my best with the players I have," he said after his side's goalless draw with Crystal Palace

Sousa's predecessor Iain Dowie's 15-match spell with the west London side came to an end after he clashed with Briatore, who is also Renault's Formula 1 boss, over team selection.

John Gregory and Luigi de Canio have had short-lived managerial stints during Briatore's 18 months at the helm after the Italian bought the club with a group of friends, including F1's billionaire supremo Bernie Ecclestone in September 2007.

Ainsworth and Mick Harford have also failed to persuade the Italian to promote them to full-time roles whilst filling caretaker positions.

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